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Erik Sugg (Demon Eye)

Interview with Erik Sugg from Demon Eye
by Chelsea Jennings at 13 May 2015, 6:27 PM

DEMON EYE are a classic heavy metal and bless rock band hailing from Raleigh North Carolina. The band began in the Spring of 2012, and are now releasing their second full-length effort titled "Tempora Infernalia". They are a reminder of how things go in life, and how music like that from the classic rock era of the 1970s and 1980s really builds on everything we know and love about Rock-n-Roll. Chelsea, having reviewed the latest album, interviewed Erik Sugg about what the band wanted to accomplish with the new album, their roots and their influences.

Thank you for taking the time to answer’s questions today. We really appreciate it! Demon Eye has a lot of guitar riffs reminiscent of the likes of 1970s and 1980s bands like Aerosmith on their latest album “Tempora Infernalia”. A lot of the vocals are reminiscent of old-school Led Zeppelin or Van Halen. Was that the feel that Demon Eye was going for on “Tempora Infernalia”?

Basically we were just trying to write dark rockers with good hooks, but we also wanted the songs to have some unusual elements to make them stand out. We generally rely on our classic metal influences for writing songs, but we also want our tunes to have interesting rhythms and dynamics, everything from the opening charge to “End of Days” to the Rainbow groove of “I’ll Be Creeping,” to the dark psychedelia of “Please, Father.” We wanted the record to have a good flow to it.

Is the bluesy rock sound we hear on Demon Eye’s latest release “Tempora Infernalia” something that inspired the band growing up when listening to music and deciding which direction Demon Eye should go with their music?

Yes, the heavy, bluesy bands of the ‘70s like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin are definitely an inspiration, but so are the bands the had more of a classical, “modal” style, (like Richie Blackmore’s fantastic playing in Deep Purple.) Even though the four of us grew up in different parts of the U.S., we were all pretty much raised on classic rock and the metal greats from the ‘80s, like Iron Maiden, Dio, and Judas Priest. I can remember being a young guy in the early ‘80s asking my dad, “How come I never hear Kiss and Black Sabbath on the radio?” Haha.

How has the latest Demon Eye album “Tempora Infernalia” been received by fans? You seem to be playing a lot of shows around the band’s hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina. Are there any plans for a national US tour or international tour dates behind the “Tempora Infernalia” release?

Well, the record hasn’t been released yet, but we have been playing some of the new material at our live shows. Thankfully, people seem really into it. We’re hoping to hit the road a little more this summer. We recently went up to New York City and had an incredible show there. Last summer we had a good run throughout the midwest, so we’re looking to go back to the Chicago and Detroit area again. We’re also talking about a west coast run next year. In terms of Europe, it’s pretty difficult for an American band to tour there if you don’t have a booking agent, if you aren’t part of a touring package, or if you aren’t scheduled for any festivals. We hope this will all change soon!

While”Tempora Infernalia” was only released in the last few months, after touring behind the latest effort, what is next for Demon Eye?

Like any other band, we hope to increase our fanbase and sell records. We also look forward to playing new places and meeting new people, and of course writing new music and doing whatever we can to become a better band. The bottom line is that it should always be a good time, a positive experience, so we’ll do everything we can on our end to ensure that is the case.

Demon Eye has recently been signed to Soulseller Records. How is Demon Eye finding being on a label beneficial? How is being signed to Soulseller Records specifically benefitted Demon Eye?

It has been nothing but positive. We are very happy with Soulseller. It has been hugely beneficial in terms of our music being heard by people all around the world.

You began only recently in the Spring of 2012. How has the success level of Demon Eye risen to the level it is at now so rapidly?

We owe everything to the good folks who have helped us along the way. Alex Maiolo of Seriously Adequate Studios, who recorded both of our records. Pete Weiss of Verdant Studio, who mixed and mastered both records. John Hitselberger for his incredible art work. Jorn Rap of Soulseller Records. All of the amazing bands we’ve met and played with. All of the kind music writers and bloggers who helped spread the word. And of course, all of the people who enjoy our music and support what we do. For our part? We’ll just keep working hard and doing what we can to write good music.

Does Demon Eye have any plans to write new music anytime soon?

We’re pretty much always writing new music, or at least always coming up with guitar riffs and song ideas. I’m not sure if a follow up to “Tempora Infernalia” will come about as fast as this one did from the previous record, but as of now we have no intentions of slowing down.

What is the writing process for a Demon Eye record usually like? Was the writing process for the latest release “Tempora Infernalia” similar?

Everything begins with riffs. Larry and Paul and myself will share what we’ve written individually, and then we’ll experiment with rhythms and dynamics together as a band. When the time comes to think of lyrics, the order of songs, the record title and the overall theme, I’ll get out of the city for a few days and head to the mountains. That environment provides me with a deep calm where I can make sense of all the ideas in my head, both musically and thematically. That’s what I did for both “Leave the Light” and “Tempora Infernalia.”

Where do you hope to see Demon Eye ten years from now? What would you personally like to see happen in Demon Eye’s future?

All I’m really concerned with is remaining together as a band and still having the other guys as friends and bandmates, no matter what. Too many times I’ve witnessed bands end in horrible, bitter ways. I never want that to happen with Demon Eye. We’ll keep doing Demon Eye for as long as it keeps being a good thing our lives.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions today! Best of luck to Demon Eye going forward! Safe travels on the upcoming tour dates!

Thank you! We hope to visit your country and meet you all in person someday soon!


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